(Jesus said) "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NASB)
Where do you go to Church? Are there comfy pads in the pews? Are there large stain glass windows? Do you worship in climate controlled comfort? Is there a large pipe organ in your church and do your choir members wear robes? What does God’s House look like where you go to worship on Sunday morning? Are there other activities that take place there during the remainder of the week…or is HE only there on Sunday?
The attached photo was taken in the Plateau Central of Haiti, probably twenty minutes south of Thomassique and forty-five minutes from where I had to park my truck because we could not drive it any further as the road was impossibly impassable. This is God’s House, made out of branches with wood boards on a branch for pews and probably about the size of a double stall North American garage with a six-foot ceiling; I was unable to stand upright when inside. I heard a Gospel song recently that made me think about this photo, about my time in His House. It was written by Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (22 February 1805 – 14 August 1848).
“Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, darkness be over me, my rest a stone; yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly. Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, there in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee.”
There have been North American mission teams coming to Haiti to build concrete block churches with reinforcing steel, steel doors, glass windows, generators for electricity and varnished wood pews and white painted walls. Simple truth; the buildings are that important, Haiti needs Jesus. He is in this small wooden structure that was built by Haitian hands. God is there smiling upon His children giving Him thanks for their providence and His Son Jesus Christ. He doesn’t care that they worship in a stick building, He is just happy that they are there.
Trinity/HOPE provides resources to Christian schools in Haiti so they can purchase food in Haiti, cook it the Haitian way and help to prepare them to draw nearer to Jesus and go out into their neighborhoods and share the love of their risen Savior the ears that have not heard. God smiles upon these children, eating their rice and beans, singing praises to Him and sharing the news of His Son Jesus Christ throughout their neighborhoods.
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay